Friday, 21 November 2014

The First Colonial Soldiers ~~ almost there

Last September I reported the decision made to deliver the project in two phases. The first phase on the British Isles, Europe, Asia and Africa, and the second phase on the Americas and the Caribbean. The deliverable for each phase should consist of a volume (= book).

Now, two months later, the first volume about to get printed and will be available for sale in December. Only 100 copies will be made, so first come first served!

More, formal, details are found on the publisher's realm (The First Colonials at Publisher's) and a sneak of the cover:

An image from Volume 1 tells it's own story, and this tropical commodity was very much the reason to sail to the other end of the world:

For those interested, here what the cover of Volume 2 is supposed to look like:

The similarity in appearance should not be surprising. Volume 2 will appear in March 2015.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The First Colonial Soldiers ~~ progressive insights on tackling a large subject

In a previous blog the pending publication of The First Colonial Soldiers was announced. This work, a true Anglo-Dutch joint operation, was scheduled for this autumn.

However, given the lack of existing publications in this area that tackle the subject of colonial soldiering, we ended up with a lot of new information digested into our planned book. Initially the book was thought to number about 400 pages. That became soon 500, and this broke the 600 boundary. With the end only marginally visible.

So, instead of lumping all information into a big volume we decided to split the subject into two volumes:

Volume 1: the British Isles, Europe, Asia and Africa
this volume deals with the several of British possessions in Europe like Dunkirk, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands. It also tackles the beginnings of the British  empire in India and touches on the West African Gold Coast. This volume is to be published in November 2014.

Volume 2: the Americas and the Caribbean
this volumes deals with the colonies in the New World and the temporary holdings in that part of the world. Discussed are the militias of those colonies, the expeditions and battles, the regular forces sent from England, and much more. This volume is to be published in March 2015.

Though designated "Volume 1" and "Volume 2", the volumes can be read independent of each other as each comes with its own introduction, list of references, indices, illustrations and maps.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Paymaster General's Account Book 1690

A few years ago the Account Book of the Paymaster General of the army of William III for the year 1690 was discovered in the Belfast City Hall. See for example and

This Account Book by Paymaster General Thomas Coningsby lists the payments made to the regiments in William III's army, and those made to hospitals, intelligence, etc.

It is a bit unfortunate and strange that this document is kept by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland in Belfast, and not by an institution like the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.

Nevertheless, this Orange Lodge made a rather nice workbook based on this Account Book. Though aimed at children, it will be nice for adults too: paymaster-general-workbook.pdf. Unfortunately there is no further information regarding accessibility of this Account Book for researchers. I truly hope this document is not abused for pursuing a political agenda.

Contrary to rumours and gossip, this Account Book does not contain the names of all men in William III's army. It does, however, contain the names of about 400 officers. With about 40 officers in a regiment of foot, this means that this Account Book does neither contain all officers in William III's.

But anyway, let's hope that the information in this document will become available soon!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The First Colonial Soldiers ~~ a glimpse of what is to come this summer!

After more than one year of editing, formatting, reading, more editing, sending and receiving more emails to my co-author, re-shuffling, and quite a bit of editing ahead, the project The First Colonial Soldiers is nearing completion! Stay tuned!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Colonial Records ~~ New Haven

New Haven was founded in 1638 as a ``new haven'' for orthodox Puritans, who found that Massachusetts Bay had become to much of a Sodom and Gomorrah.

The colony, lying west of the Connecticut River, never received a Charter. When the much larger Connecticut Colony was grated a Royal Charter in 1662, this encompassed the towns of New Haven. In January 1665 the colony was finally absorbed into Connecticut.

Two records exist (the years between 1649 and 1653 are missing):

Volume 1: 1638 - 1649 (Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven)
Volume 2: 1653 - 1664 (Records of the Colony and Jurisdiction of New Haven)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Map of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth Bay and Rhode Island

Maps tell so much more than words. So, maps will be an important part of a forthcoming publication.

Here a sneak preview of a map for part of New England. Boundaries of provinces (dashed) and counties (dotted) are approximate, and reflect the division of circa 1700.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

Musical intermezzo ~~ Jean Baptiste Lully

Jean Baptiste Lully (1632 - 1687)  was the composer of choice for Louis XIV. The above selection of his work is rather nice, and gives an idea what Louis was listening to, and perhaps trying a new dance, whilst relaxing from his ambitions to conquer Europe. Though some of the pieces sounds rather martial.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Colonial Records ~~ Pennsylvania

Though this province didn't have much of a militia in during the reigns of William III and Anne, because of the Quaker dominance, there are still relevant records available for the colonial period. These are known either as Colonial Records of Pennsylvania or as the Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania. These records form part of the 138 volume Pennsylvania Archives.

Volume 1: 1683 - 1700
Volume 2: 1700 - 1717
Volume 3: 1717 - 1736
Volume 4: 1736 - 1745
Volume 5: 1745 - 1754
Volume 6: 1754 - 1756
Volume 7: 1756 - 1758
Volume 8: 1757 - 1762
Volume 9: 1762 - 1771
Volume 10: 1771 - 1776
After 1776, when the Revolution had broken out, there are six more records called Minutes of the Supreme Executive Council, still part of the Colonial Records series.

Secondly, there are four volumes in the Series 1 of the Pennsylvania Archives relevant for the colonial period:

Volume 1: Pennsylvania Archives .. commencing 1644
Volume 2: Pennsylvania Archives .. commencing 1748
Volume 3: Pennsylvania Archives .. commencing 1756
Volume 4: Pennsylvania Archives .. commencing 1760
Volume 5 commences in 1776; in total there are twelve volumes in this series.

There is an index for the Colonial Records and the Pennsylvania Archives:
General Index .. colonial Records .. Pennsylvania Archives ..

Series 2 contains a few additional volumes of interest:
Volume 5: Papers Relating to the Colonies on the Delaware 1614 - 1682
Volume 6: Papers Relating to the French Occupation in Western Pennsylvania 1631 - 1764
Volume 7: Provincial Affairs 1682 - 1750

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Colonial Records ~~ Rhode Island

Next in this series on Colonial Records the Colony of Rhode Island. A small province, with the much larger Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay on its West and North, respectively. Nevertheless, quite extensive material exist published as the Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England.

Volume 1: 1636 - 1663
Volume 2: 1664 - 1677
Volume 3: 1678 - 1706
Volume 4: 1707 - 1740
Volume 5: 1741 - 1756
Volume 6: 1757 - 1769
Volume 7: 1770 - 1776

Friday, 14 March 2014

Colonial Records ~~ New Hampshire

Second in this series of Colonial Records is the province of New Hampshire, for which there are several volumes called Documents and Records related to the Province of New-Hampshire from the earliest period of its settlement: 1623 - 1776. This is a sub-serie of the State and Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, which has up to 40 volumes (see here for an overview). Those deemed of interested for the period before the Revolution include:

Volume 1: 1623 - 1686
Volume 2: 1686 - 1722 (mostly Council records)
Volume 3: 1692 - 1722 (containing the journal of the Council and Assembly from 1692 - 1722)
Volume 4: 1722 - 1737
Volume 5: 1738 - 1749
Volume 6: 1749 - 1763
Volume 7: 1764 - 1776

Volume 14: Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, volume 1 (contains some rolls related to Queen Anne's War)
Volume 17: Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, volume 4 (contains  several Provincial Papers 1629 - 1725)

Volume 19: Provincial Papers of New Hampshire (roughly 1679 - 1764)

Volume 23: A list of documents in the PRO in London England relating to the Province of New Hampshire

Another interesting publication is from the New Hampshire Historical Society:

Volume 8: Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society: containing province records and court papers from 1680 to 1692, notices of provincial councilors, and other articles relative to the early history of the state.

Colonial Records ~~ Connecticut

The ubiquitous holds tons of digitized volumes related to the colonial history of the English colonies in North America. Important amongst those for the student of colonial administration (see also the Colonial soldiers project) are the records from the colonial administrators. This post, and following, are to summarize links those records for ease of access, as an online bookmark.

First colony is Connecticut, for which we have a series of 15 volumes called the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut 1636 - 1776. These volumes cover the years when the colony was founded, until the American Revolution.

Volume 1: April 1636 - April 1665
Volume 2: May 1665 - November 1677
Volume 3: May 1678 - June 1689
Volume 4: August 1689 - May 1706
Volume 5: October 1706 - October 1716
Volume 6: May 1717 - October 1725
Volume 7: May 1726 - October 1735
Volume 8: October 1735 - October 1743
Volume 9: May 1744 - November 1750
Volume 10: May 1751 - February 1757
Volume 11: May 1757 - March 1762
Volume 12: May 1762 - October 1767
Volume 13: May 1768 - May 1772
Volume 14: October 1772 - April 1775
Volume 15: May 1775 - June 1776